Mentor Program Newsletter

Marquette Mentors Newsletter
November 2019

Dr. Debra Newman, Marquette Mentors

Largest Marquette Mentors program kickoff, panel sets tone for the year

More than 200 mentees, mentors from nearly 10 states, campus partners and staff celebrated the 2019-20 Marquette Mentors launch at the Alumni Memorial Union on Oct. 4. Along with meeting new program mentors and mentees, the program included a panel with returning mentors Nick Brescia, Arts ’08 of Walgreens in Deerfield, Ill., Kelly Kauffman, Arts ’97 from the Milwaukee Bucks, Maribel Langer, Bus Ad ’89 of Korn Ferry in Chicago as well as mentee alumnus Cole Blazer, Eng ’18, from Maclean-Fogg EPC in Menomonee Falls, Wis., and campus partner Sheena Carey, Comm ’81, Grad ’83 from the Diederich College of Communication. The event was moderated by mentee alumnus and current mentor Aaron Maybin, Comm ’15, of FOX6 News in Milwaukee.

Engineering mentee Jackie Gerhardson (mentor Mark Gehring, Eng ’87), found value in the panel discussion. “I especially connected to Maribel's comments regarding how networking is simply a way of forming friendships,” she says. “I often struggle with the idea of networking and especially acting authentically in a professional environment, but I was inspired by her comments to continue to act genuinely in forming networks.” See the kickoff slideshow.

Since the program’s 2013-14 pilot launch, Marquette Mentors has grown by approxomiately 375 percent from 30 matches to nearly 145 this year. Special thanks to all mentors for their return visit to campus for the kickoff.

Mentees share impact of initial mentor insights

Gretchen Borden and Gretchen Geise, Marquette Mentors

Many program participants have shared their experiences in the first 30 days with their mentor or mentee, from job shadowing to lengthy conversations, including these accounts.

Gretchen Borden, Eng ’03, Grad ’07 and engineering manager at Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee recently hosted her mentee engineer, Gretchen Geiser, on a tour of the Harley-Davidson Pilgrim Road Engine plant.

“The timing was perfect since Gretchen had an interview for the Harley-Davidson IGNITE Co-Op program the following day,” mentor Gretchen says. “It was great to show her how we manufacture our engines and for her to get a better sense of applying what she’s studying in school.”  

Mentee Gretchen found it to be a valuable shadow on many levels. “It was nice to see what life is like as a manufacturing engineer," she adds. “I enjoyed seeing the whole engine construction process, talking directly to an employee, and getting perspective on the culture and environment of Harley-Davidson. It also helped with my interviews!”

Dan Paulsen and Jalen Fox, Marquette Mentors

Dan Paulsen, Bus Ad ’85, finance director and controller, Pacific Sierra Region, McDonald's Corporation (retired); Lisbon, Portugal, met on campus with mentee Jalen Fox for their first meeting. 

Although first-year mentor Dan Paulsen resides in Lisbon, Portugal, he returns occasionally to the United States. He visited campus two weeks ago and met with Jalen Fox, Business Administration mentee. “Jalen is smart, motivated and it was a pleasure to spend some time with him,” Dan says.

“Dan and I talked about our similar and different experiences here at Marquette and beyond,” says Jalen. “It was also great talking about how to kickstart my dreams and goals as a young adult and as a business professional. I am beyond excited to have him as a resource for the rest of the school year.”

Dr. Michele Frommelt and Kelly Jacoby, Marquette Mentors

Mentor Dr. Michele Frommelt and Health Sciences mentee Kelly Jacoby met at a coffee shop for their first meeting.

“The most helpful part of our first meeting was just hearing about her journey,” Kelly says. “She absolutely loves what she does and succeeds because of it. This was quite helpful to me because there have been many times in my life when people have tried to talk me out of becoming a doctor due to the career's stress or lack of free time. She was incredibly inspiring and reassuring. I know this growing relationship with significantly help me in my goals.” 

“It was truly a pleasure to meet Kelly,” according to Dr. Frommelt. “I'm always amazed by students who are so enthusiastic and well-rounded. As a mentor, I hope to be able to enlighten her on what it means to be an academic physician working in a hospital setting, both taking care of patients, as well as educating medical students and residents/fellows. I hope that shadowing me in my clinic, as well as when I am rounding in the hospital, will bring her some insight into this type of medicine.”

2019-20 Marquette Mentors Resource Guide

New resource guide provides expert mentor-mentee insights, suggestions

The 28-page, online 2019-20 Marquette Mentors Resource Guide provides an array of information to help enhance the mentor-mentee relationship, including:

- Maximizing the mentor-mentee partnership
- Interview questions and preparation tips
- Sample resumes and insights
- Professional development and employment assistance at Marquette’s Career Services Center
- Mentor and mentee testimonials
- Networking suggestions
- Mentor/mentee topics and questions

The guide is available here and the Marquette Mentors online toolbox.

Steve Rushin, Marquette Mentors

November 14 mentor best practices workshop teleconference to feature Rushin

All mentors are invited to participate in the Fall Best Practices Workshop teleconference from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, Nov. 14. Whether you’re a multi-year mentor or in your first month of Marquette Mentors, join fellow mentors as we cover a variety of topics to enhance your mentee partnership.

The workshop will also include an interview with Steve Rushin, Jour ’88, author, sportswriter and seven-time mentor in Marquette Mentors. He’ll share his insights as a long-distance mentor in Hartford, Conn. “I'm a thousand miles from campus but I don't think it hampers the experience,” he says.

Teleconference details will be emailed separately and the call will be recorded for those unable to participate.

Bob Kohl and Mallory Winkler, Marquette Mentors

Travel stipend application period open for mentees to visit, job shadow mentors

Mentees with mentors residing outside of Milwaukee are encouraged to apply for the Marquette Mentors travel stipend. Made possible by generous mentor donations to the program, mentees are required to complete the stipend application to shadow their mentor. If approved, the airline ticket, train fare or car mileage expenses up to $300 to visit them will be covered. Applications are now being accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Many mentees have received travel stipends and shadowed their mentors in cities such as New York, Boston,
San Francisco and Chicago.

“The travel stipend program is a game changer,” says Meghan Arnold, Comm '02, at Adobe in San Francisco. Her mentee shadowed her during the 2018-19 program.

Learn about one mentee’s job shadow experience last year in Nashville.

With Thanksgiving and semester breaks in the coming weeks, plan ahead now and discuss the job shadow/travel stipend possibilities with your mentor or mentee. Several mentees have already been approved. For more information or to make a contribution to the travel stipend initiative, contact Dan DeWeerdt.

2019-20 Marquette mentees

Mentees reminded to attend a fall best practices workshop, Nov. 5-7

Beginning the second month of this year’s Marquette Mentors, all mentees are strongly encouraged to register for one of the upcoming Fall Best Practices workshops, Nov. 5-7. Mentees are invited to share their experiences to date, hear from others about what they’ve learned and how to maximize your mentor partnership. Members of the Mentee Alumni Network will share their insights pother topics include the travel stipend program. Register here by Sunday, Nov. 3. Advance registration is required. For those unable to attend one of the sessions, please contact Dan DeWeerdt to share an update.

Marquette Mentors

Quick takes: tips for a successful mentor-mentee relationship

Consider these keys to a mutually beneficial partnership:

  • Book it. When possible, schedule meetings, extended conversations, job shadowing and other business well in advance of the actual dates. Mentees interested in a job shadow opportunity during holiday break, consider discussing and planning with mentors now (finals begin in six weeks).
  • Set an agenda in advance of each meeting. Meeting agendas help identify key objectives to be accomplished and help prepare both parties for the discussion.
  • Identify action items. Outlining responsibilities clarifies roles, helps avoid miscommunication and can help develop the next meeting agenda.
  • Goal check. Regularly review the goal document you created and agreed upon. Are you on track to completing the goals? Should goal adjustments be considered in light of a new career interest or an emerging priority? The document serves as a guide and can be changed, if necessary.   

Five Questions With… Dr. Michele Bria, Arts ’90, Grad '92 (Haley Velez, Communication mentee)

Dr. Michele Bria, Marquette Mentors

1. You've mentored eight students (including twin freshmen) in Marquette Mentors since the program's 2103 pilot. What advice do you have for other mentors?
Mentors, “Stop and smell the roses.” I know how busy your schedules can be and the urgency of time to complete things. When your mentee reaches out to you, pause for a moment and be 100% present. Be open and listen for understanding to help guide them through whatever adventure is presenting them at the moment. You’ll see them blossom before you! How exciting to be part of their growth!

2.  Mentors often share they also learn from their mentees. What are two of your key takeaways?
First, I’m always inspired by their energy and enthusiasm. Second, I learn new ways to communicate through different modes of technology.

3. What's one piece of advice every mentee should keep in mind when working with their mentor?
Value your mentor’s time. Listen with openness. Be 100% when you are with your mentor and de-plug from your phone/devices/technology.

4. Can you share a mentoring moment that's made a significant impact on you?
One of my mentees continued on after our year-long mentorship during her junior year to become my intern during her senior year. She was amazing! Her contribution to our organization was substantial. She even created and produced a “People of Journey House” Instagram (account) that is still active and growing today. She continues to make a difference.

5. In addition to supporting your mentees professionally, you've also gotten to know them on a personal level. Why is that important?
Understanding their passion, compassion and dispassion may help guide your mentoring and may inspire them (and you!). It may also help you experience things through a new lens.

Dr. Michele Bria, Arts ’90, is CEO and president of Journey House in Milwaukee and is mentoring her eighth student in Marquette Mentors.

In the News

Kennedy Coleman, In the News, Marquette MentorsKennedy Coleman, communication mentee, is general manager of MUTV, a division of Marquette Wire. (Anna Bruno Bleers, Comm ’94, Energy BBDO; Chicago, mentor)



Maura Farrell, Marquette MentorsMaura Farrell, Arts ’92, has been named board chair at Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Ill. She serves as managing director at Kivvit in Chicago, on the Marquette Mentors Leadership Council and is a fourth-year mentor.
(Tess Murphy, Arts mentee)



Steve Rushin, Marquette MentorsSteve Rushin, Jour ’88, recently released Nights in White Castle, a memoir of his high school days, as a Marquette University student and early years as a writer at Sports Illustrated. He’s mentoring his seventh student and served every year since Marquette Mentors was established in 2013. (Tyler Peters, Communication mentee)


Share your latest news such as a new job, promotion, award or service project with program participants In the News. Send a one-sentence description with a headshot (no selfies, please) to Dan DeWeerdt.

All Souls' Day

An All Souls Day Reflection by Frederick P. Zagone, S.J. .

In the book of Ecclesiastes we hear the words, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every
affair under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die…. a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

A long-standing tradition in the Church is to use the month of November to remember those who have died.
Perhaps it is due to the falling leaves and the colder temperatures (at least here in Milwaukee) that our thoughts
turn to the death made necessary to bring us new life. We remember because life has changed, not ended.

Read the entire reflection.


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